Applications closed 7th February, 2016.


Following a disaster, it is vital to rapidly assess needs so resources can be deployed to save lives and assist in early recovery. By improving the timeliness and needs assessment inputs, such as usefulness and accuracy of information, we will improve outcomes, for example the identification of communities with low resources and coping capacities. A functional and widely accepted needs assessment would contribute significantly to the coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance, early recovery and reconstruction.

Sub-Challenge One
Immediate Damage Assessment Product.

One central pillar in assessing needs is a rapid assessment of the physical damage. A useful, accessible tool to assess immediate damage could contribute significantly to the coordination and delivery of assistance. Moreover, how could a assessments tool be connected to community self-reporting? This challenge seeks to develop an Immediate Damage Assessment Product for the Pacific that is trustworthy, scalable and produces actionable information.


  1. Novel ways to measure damage as a proxy for immediate need, via modelling, remote sensing, or another method.
  2. Creative ways for communities to self-report needs, for example, simple physical signs viewable via remote sensing, or the establishment of peer-2-peer mobile phone networks.

Sub-Challenge Two
Understanding the data we have.

Our situational awareness is often confused by the duplication of needs assessment, or omission of critical data (e.g. private sector needs assessment). How can we readily combine existing baseline data, such as accurate population data, health and education, as well as evacuation centre sites with real-time needs assessments from the field to support response decision-making? Moreover, how do we open up this data to empower decision-making beyond the centralised response effort? This challenge seeks to identify existing solutions outside the Pacific Region and/or prototype new approaches to bring together the data we have in one place to support response decision making.


  1. A prototype that uses the latest Big Data techniques to synthesise needs data with other contextual data to support response decision-making.
  2. Novel ways, such as innovative business models and tools to access and maintain critical public and private data sets.

More Support Information

Download the handbook (in PDF form) which outlines more specific details


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